Running Slow, Riding Fast
Today started early, before it was light, with a rare early morning run. I say rare because my old joints don't take well to rolling out of bed and hitting the road. Almost always, if I'm doing something in the morning it's a ride, though I have been toying with the idea of predawn swimming. I am confident I will continue to toy with that idea.
I figured an early run would be OK on my legs today because it was a slow run. Ten slow miles. I've gotten the slow-run religion. For a long time, I had a hard time with this concept. I'd go out intending to run 9-minute miles, but before long they were 8:30 miles, then I was headed toward 8 minutes, then I was finishing hard at 7:30 and the whole thing added up to 8-minute miles. Probably three-quarters of my runs were doing sub-8 minute miles, which was OK, but didn't leave a lot of room for high-quality variety. I was usually just a little too tired. Anyway, today I ran 9:30 miles. Each and every one was 9:30. It took a long time to do 10 miles as that snail's pace, but it was good. I did loops at Normandale because I wanted to run on grass and I wanted to run flat. It was a lot of loops, 14 of 'em, but each one was a little different from the one that came before it as dawn broke and the city came alive. The park gradually went from dark, quiet and desolate to daylight, with noise from the of rush-hour traffic on the bordering thoroughfare NE Halsey Street, and dog owners bringing their pooches for play and workers at the nearby businesses parking alongside the park and heading into work.
That was the morning.
In the evening, I got on the bike. I decided to ride hard for an hour. I wasn't exactly trying to ride absolutely as far as I could in and hour, though I would like to try that sometime. Really, I just wanted to ride somewhere over 20 miles on a course that climbed very mildly and gradually from zero feet elevation to about 500 feet over the 20 miles. I ended up doing 21.2 miles and the last half was pretty tough. I rode hard. Easy run, hard ride.
Later, I cracked open a 2005 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse. Rollin, my man: Brilliant stuff. Beautiful. It might be even better three or four years from now, too.